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Oakwood Surgeons Perform World's First 3D Surgery Without Special Glasses

Test of prototype 3D display exceeds performance expectations.

LIVONIA, Mich., April 20 /PRNewswire/ -- On Friday, March 20, 2009, in Taylor, Michigan, three Oakwood Heritage Hospital surgeons and their medical support team assembled to perform a series of surgical procedures on a cadaver to test the new LifeVision(TM) family of 3D technologies developed by Absolute Imaging, LLC, of Livonia, MI. This event marks the first time in history that a surgeon looked at a display and visualized human anatomy in its true-to-life 3D form without having to wear 3D glasses.

"Most of today's laparoscopic and endoscopic surgeries are viewed on a flat, two-dimensional (2D), High Definition display," said Richard Kughn, long-time Detroit businessman and co-founder of Absolute Imaging. "Using this prototype 3D display, physicians are able to see human anatomy in its true-to-life form with the added dimension of depth. That they can do so without glasses is a major technological breakthrough. Now surgeons can perform endoscopic procedures with greater comfort and confidence, and have the added benefit of seeing other activity in the operating room with their natural vision."

After several minutes of operating with the unique advantage of 3D visualization, Kurt Martinuzzi, MD, Associate Director of Obstetrics and Gynecology, said of the prototype, "I expect that this exciting new system could be easily incorporated into our operating rooms."

Until the late 1970s, nearly all surgical procedures required an opening in the patient large enough for the surgeon to see inside the body and insert instruments used during the operation. Since then, the miniaturization of video technology has made it possible for surgeons to easily look beneath the skin with cameras connected to tubes called laparoscopes or endoscopes. Minimally Invasive Surgery, or MIS, involves the use of an endoscope in conjunction with other surgical devices inserted through relatively small incisions made on the patient. The major benefits of MIS are: superior cosmetic result; less post-operative pain; shorter recovery times; and the reduced risk of infection.

Jim Fischbach, developer of LifeVision technology and co-founder of Absolute Imaging commented, "The added realism provided by a glasses-free 3D image makes it easier for a surgeon to consider the option of doing surgery using MIS. Approximately two-thirds of all surgeries performed today still use a more traditional open approach. Now it appears the balance between traditional surgery and MIS is about to change."

Two other notable Oakwood Hospital surgeons involved in the trial also see a bright future for this technology in endoscopy. Larry Morawa, MD, Chair of Orthopaedics at Wayne State University and an Oakwood surgeon commented, "This display is excellent. My expectation would be that this technology will accelerate the development of small-diameter 3D endoscopes that can be used in orthopaedic surgery." General surgeon, Kassem Charara, MD, said of the display, "It is easy to use, easy to adapt to, and gives a good perception of depth." When asked if his confidence level was the same or a little better with 3D, Dr. Charara replied, "Definitely, the image is much better than the regular screen (referring to the 2D HD displays)."

Kelly Smith, Chief Operating Officer at Oakwood Heritage Hospital and one of the key orchestrators of this historic event is optimistic about the future of this technology. According to Smith, "More than ever, hospitals need to be sensitive to technologies that lower costs, shorten recovery times, and generally improve patient outcomes. If stereoscopic viewing of MIS results in fewer open surgeries, this technology has the potential to accomplish all three goals."

Absolute Imaging, in conjunction with its research partners, will be conducting a number of tests intended to quantify improvements resulting from performing MIS with its stereoscopic 3D display. Their enthusiasm for LifeVision(TM) is fueled by comments from veteran surgeon, Kurt Martinuzzi, MD, who said, "with this device ... I expect that teaching medical students and interns how to perform endoscopic procedures will be much easier; the learning curve should definitely be shorter."

The first public showing of LifeVision(TM) will take place at the annual meeting of The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) in Phoenix, AZ on April 22nd thru the 24th.

Oakwood Heritage Hospital:

Oakwood Heritage Hospital is a 2007 recipient of the Governor's Award of Excellence. This facility opened its doors in 1977. For Taylor and the surrounding communities, extensive healthcare mixed with outstanding customer service has been the standard for over 30 years. This 209-bed hospital provides specialty services to all Oakwood Heritage patients including 24-hour emergency care, speech/language pathology and audiology, pain management clinic, orthopaedic surgery, mental health facility, physical medicine and inpatient rehabilitation and full service radiology including advanced CT and MRI.

The Oakwood Heritage team consists of professional healthcare specialists who provide a blend of quality care, professionalism and great customer service. In 2007, OHH received its second consecutive Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission for its hip and knee replacement program which includes the latest in minimally invasive technology, and a 14 bed sub-acute specialized unit for hip and knee replacement patients. To learn more about OHH please visit

To learn more about Absolute Imaging, LLC please visit or contact Tom Huntley, VP of Sales, at 248-579-0600 / Absolute Imaging, LLC, is located in Livonia, Michigan.

SOURCE Absolute Imaging, LLC
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